SAN FRANCISCO, April 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Today Personal Capital, the leading online financial advisory firm, announced findings from its annual Retirement Readiness Survey, conducted online in March 2016 by Harris Poll on their behalf, which uncovers how Millennials (ages 18-34) think about retirement planning.
The survey finds that 40 percent of Millennials don't have a single retirement savings account, and 73 percent don't know their net worth. These two factors are critical for taking charge of personal finances, particularly retirement planning, and Millennials are far behind[ii]. Paradoxically, over one-third (34 percent) of Millennial retirement savers[iii] report feeling hopeful (more than any other emotion) when looking at the balance of their retirement savings account. This disconnect shows that Millennials may have a false sense of security around their current savings and are at risk of not reaching the retirement goals they're hoping for.
With the average projected savings needed to retire comfortably hitting at least $1 million, far too many Millennials don't realize they are already staggeringly behind.[iv] Despite many Millennials feeling hopeful, those who have already started saving also report feeling uncertain (26 percent) and anxious (26 percent) when they look at their retirement account balances. Another 15 percent feel hopeless when looking at their balance.
"Millennials are oblivious to the $14 trillion retirement crisis facing America[v]," said Personal Capital CEO Bill Harris. "They're dangerously assuming that retirement planning can start tomorrow, instead of today. We've found that Millennials are banking on working just 15 years, and many plan to live on inheritances during retirement – it's delusional. The largest generation currently in the US workforce cannot afford to keep gambling on their retirement. But there's hope if we meet Millennials where they are now, whether that be battling student loan debt or searching for easier tech-driven solutions."
"The only time of year people are really forced to think about their finances is during tax season," said Certified Financial Planner® and Personal Capital Senior Vice President Michelle Brownstein. "If Millennials applied the same urgency to their retirement planning and understood that passive inaction will have detrimental ramifications, they'd start making better choices around their saving habits. If they don't, they're only extending the number of years they'll have to work."
Millennials don't know where they stand
The first roadblock standing between Millennials and retirement readiness is getting started:
40 percent of Millennials don't have a retirement savings account at all (46 percent of women and 33 percent of men)
Millennials expect to work for only 15 years and save $445,687 for retirement; and they anticipate receiving an average of $1.06 million from inheritance - twice as much income as from their paychecks. [vi]
80 percent of Millennial women don't know their net worth, as opposed to 65 percent of Millennial men
6 percent of Millennial retirement savers don't ever look at the balance of their retirement savings accounts
More Millennial men than women feel emotional about their retirement balances
When it comes to looking at how prepared Millennials are for retirement, the survey shows:
More Millennial men than women report feeling emotional about their retirement savings account balances (63 percent vs. 43 percent, respectively)
Twice as many Millennial men as women feel hopeless when looking at their retirement savings balance (12 percent and 6 percent, respectively)
Despite the hopelessness above, Millennial men are almost twice as likely as women to say they feel confident (25 percent vs. 12 percent, respectively) and both groups report feeling hopeful as well (24 percent vs. 18 percent, respectively) when they look at their retirement savings account balance
Three times as many Millennial men than women with a retirement savings account would take money from their retirement savings early to pay for a big purchase (e.g., vacation, boat, car, wedding) (15 percent and 4 percent respectively)
Millennials are hungry for retirement solutions tailored to their lifestyle – fast and mobile
Despite the number of Millennials who are unprepared for retirement, their financial futures depend on the transparency of their accounts, and quick and easy access to experts:
More than half (54 percent) of Millennials say they would be likely to seek a professional's advice when investing (e.g. speaking with an investment advisor)
Millennial retirement savers are more than twice as likely than people age 45 and older to say if they were able to access their retirement savings account on their mobile device, they would check it daily (15 percent vs. 6 percent, respectively)
"Mobile banking led the way for everyday financial literacy and soon mobile retirement planning is going to catch up," said Personal Capital CEO Bill Harris. "Once people had the ability to interact more with their finances, they did – and the ripple effect is echoing loud and clear: 94 percent of Millennial retirement savers want mobile access to their retirement accounts. The need to demystify retirement is colossal, and when mobile access becomes the industry standard, financial planning on all fronts will finally see a full revolution."
For questions or more data around the state of Millennial retirement readiness, please contact [email protected].
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Nielsen on behalf of Personal Capital from March 23-28, 2016 among 2,120 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, among which 582 are Millennials ages 18-34. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Marianne Ahlmann at the below address.
About Personal Capital
Personal Capital is the smart way to track and manage your financial life. Personal Capital combines award-winning online financial tools that provide unprecedented transparency into your finances with personal attention from licensed financial advisors. The result is a complete transformation in the way you understand, manage and grow your net worth.
[i] The U.S adult population (ages 18+) according to the 2010 census is 234.6 million. Based on this survey, 27% of the population are Millennials (ages 18-34). 234.6 million x .27 = 63.34 million are Millennials (ages 18-34). Based on this survey, 40% of Millennials (ages18-34) don't have a retirement savings account. 63.34 million x .40 = 25.34 million are Millennials (ages 18-34) who do not have a retirement savings account. [ii] According to Personal Capital's Certified Financial Planners, it is critical to know these facts in order to understand your financial health. For years industry experts have commented that Americans the age of 18-34 are not nearly as prepared to enter retirement as they should be. [iii] Millennial retirement savers refers to Americans between the ages of 18-34 that have at least one retirement savings account. [iv]The average amount needed to retire comfortably is at least $1 million according to The Motley Fool. [v] According to the National Institute on Retirement Security's report The Retirement Savings Crisis: Is It Worse Than We Think?, retirement deficit in the United States is up to a $14 trillion. [vi] This data is from Personal Capital's Retirement Readiness Planner compiled October 2015. Please see the full details in this press release.